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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 1, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(13):1786. doi:10.1001/jama.290.13.1786-a

At the opening of the new medical buildings of the University of Toronto on Thursday of this week, the address of the occasion was delivered by Prof. Charles Scott Sherrington of the University College of Liverpool. The new buildings in Toronto, beside being admirably adapted for the teaching of the medical sciences in a modern way, have been especially constructed and outfitted for the prosecution of original research. It is peculiarly fitting, therefore, that the distinguished director of the Thompson Yates Laboratories, who is England's greatest research physiologist, should have been chosen to make the formal address at the opening ceremonies. Modern physiologists are roughly divisible into two groups, one approaching the problems of physiology from the viewpoint of medicine and interesting itself, therefore, chiefly in the physiology of vertebrates; the other, from the viewpoint of general biology, physics and chemistry, more concerned perhaps with the simpler forms of life as met among the invertebrates. Both groups have in them representatives of the highest order of productive scholarship. To the former of the two groups Professor Sherrington belongs, though his researches and his publications show that he is not unsympathetic with the work of members of the other group. Professor Sherrington has enriched knowledge in every field of physiology in which he has worked, but his most striking services perhaps are those he has rendered to the physiology of the nervous system. His studies of the spinal nerves and of the segmental relations and especially his researches into the functions of the cerebrum of the vertebrates which stand nearest to man, have given him a fame that is world wide. We understand that Professor Sherrington is to visit some of the medical centers of the United States before he returns to England. We can assure him of a most cordial welcome in American physiologic laboratories, and we may perhaps hope that when he returns to Liverpool he may favor us with some impressions of American medicine as seen through an English physiologist's eye.

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